World Boxing News is able to clarify once and for all the continued rumors surrounding TV rights for Anthony Joshua v Deontay Wilder in 2018.
A common misconception that Joshua was expected to fight Wilder on BT Sports has done the rounds for some time now.
All along it was clear that Joshua v Wilder, either taking place in the US or UK, would have always been televised by Sky Sports Box Office.
The only way Wilder was going to fight on BT Sports was when facing Tyson Fury. The reason being Fury is a BT fighter – simple as that.
Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel had no hesitation pointing this out this fact.
“You are correct. We were willing to fight on Sky. We only fought on BT because Tyson is with BT,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News.
In a world exclusive interview on July 31st of 2018, Finkel was at the end of his tether after attempting tirelessly to get Joshua in the ring.
A $50m ratified offer was rejected despite Joshua already being a Showtime fighter. AJ still had optional fights left with the network, proven by the Povetkin fight being televised later that year.
Even when the US deal with rejected, Wilder accepted $15m to face Joshua in the UK. But terms proved impossible to complete, as Finkel explained.
“There’s no doubt in my mind they don’t want to fight Deontay Wilder,” Finkel exclusively told World Boxing News.
“If they did, they wouldn’t have sent a contract with more impediments in it than the first time. I mean, they don’t even have their own lies together right now.
“Joshua said he’d send a signed contract that removed all impediments and that it would be signed by him, but the contract is not even signed by him – it’s signed by Eddie Hearn. Barry (Hearn) also sent a tweet out yesterday stating the contract was signed by ‘AJ’ but it’s not. And…added to that, they have now put more blocks on the rematch clause than before.
“In the original contract for a fight in 2018, Deontay rejected it because of the rematch clause only being in place for Joshua. Now, they’ve added that a rematch won’t take place if it’s a draw. I mean, there has to be a rematch if there’s a draw, they don’t even have their own story straight!
He continued: “The bottom line is, they don’t want to make the fight. They didn’t want to make it in September, and they don’t want to make it now – for April. If they did, they would have changed the things (Deontay was adverse to in the original contract) like Joshua said they would.
“Obviously, whether Joshua is afraid…or they are afraid, they are fooling the public regarding this fight. They are not looking to fight Deontay Wilder on April 13th.
“They are lying, they don’t want to fight April 13th or they wouldn’t have sent the contract the way they did.
“The fact is, they sent a contract worse than before and left in the things Deontay wanted changed. They have no desire to fight on April 13 whatsoever and they keep telling the public lies.
“I’m just fed up discussing this bull**** with them because it’s one bull**** after another.
“People who want to be his fans – that’s fine. But don’t believe the lies coming from the Joshua side surrounding these negotiations.
“Deontay Wilder wants this fight and it’s not down to anything on his side that’s it’s not happening.
“If however, terms are realistic in the future, we would be open to receiving the contract we were expecting. We would be happy to look at it if those impediments were removed – as previously stated by Joshua himself,” Finkel added.